Retractable Washing Line

A retractable washing line is an excellent choice if limited space rules out the option of using a rotary washing line in your garden or yard.

These simple devices consist of a sturdy casing which encases a length of washing line which can be easily pulled to a connection point on a facing wall or post.

They are available in various styles and colours, with a range of lengths of washing line to choose from. Many come with a locking mechanism which helps keep the line tight when laden with wet laundry. 

A cheap and basic retractable device with 10 to 20 metres of line will cost under £10 but you'll pay more for a deluxe model with additional features and a longer line. An average size line can hold around 15kg of laundry.

If you have a family and have a hefty amount of clothing to dry each week, you might be best buying a two-in-one retractable airer which has two lengths of line to provide double the amount of usable line space. Four line devices are also available.


This type of clothes line could be the one for you if you like the idea of a temporary accessory in your garden, rather than a permanent fixture rotary line. A retractable line is a compact alternative to a revolving airer


After use the line can be wound back in manually, unless you opt for a retractable device which has a nifty spring-loaded feature built into it which lets the line rewind back into the reel automatically.


A retractable device means you can remove your washing line out of sight altogether when not in use - so it's not a distracting obstacle to navigate in your back garden, yard or paved patio area.


Retractable lines are ideal for outdoor use but they can also be used in indoor locations such as a utility room, bathroom or laundry room. They can even be used in a garage or under a car port.


The outer reel casing on these lines is usually made of toughened plastic or metal and they are available in various colours including black, white, grey, silver, green, blue and brown. Popular brand names include Minky, Metaltex, Croydex, Addis, Bentley and Better Home.


Retractable lines offer many of the benefits associated with a rotary airer including giving you fresh-smelling wrinkle-free clothing. They are also eco-friendly and help slash electricity bills which are bumped up when using an electric tumble dryer. 

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